Merit Badge Tips
Getting Credit for Tasks in Daily Life
Many merit badges have requirements that Scouts do as part of school, volunteering, family life, vacations or just having fun! If you see a requirement that you know you are likely to complete, why not start a Blue Card and get credit as you complete the items?
American Cultures: Requirement 1a-e – Go to a festival or other exhibit
Art: Requirement 6 – Visit an art gallery or artist workshop
Athletics: Requirement 3a-d – Join an athletic activity and track your work over 4 months
* Requirement 2a - Take a flight
* Requirement 4a – Visit an airport
* Requirement 4c – Visit an aviation museum or air show
Citizenship in the Community: Requirement 5 – Watch a movie about the impact of an individual or group on a community
Citizenship in the Nation: Requirement 2a – Visit a place on the National Registry of Historic Places
Citizenship in the World:
* Requirement 7c – Visit with a student from another country
* Requirement 7e – Attend a local ethnic festival
* Requirement 3 – Five-minute speech
* Requirement 6 – Teach a skill
* Requirement 7b – Make a website or blog
* Requirement 7c – Make a brochure or flier
Cooking: Requirement 4 a-e – Shop for groceries and cook meals at home
* Requirement 6a – Make a food budget or a roster with a spreadsheet
* Requirement 6d – Make a digital presentation (such as PowerPoint)
* Requirement 6e – Take a photo with a digital device
* Requirement 6f – Make a digital recording of your voice
* Requirement 6g-h – Make a blog or website
Dog Care: Requirement 4 – Take care of a dog for 2 months
Family Life: Requirement 3 – Track your chores for 90 days
* Requirement 7a – Visit a physician's office
* Requirement 10 – Volunteer at a health event such as a blood drive
Music: Requirement 3c – Serve as a member of a band, choir or other musical group for 6 months
Personal Management: Many of the requirements are part of the curriculum for the Economics and Personal Finance class in high school
Pets: Requirement 1 – Take care of a pet for four months
* Requirement 1a-d – Read 6 books and discuss the reading
* Requirement 4b – Volunteer at your school library
* Requirement 1a – Keep your grades above a B for one semester
* Requirement 1b – Show you improved your grades from one semester to the next
* Requirement 2c – Track your daily assignments
* Requirement 4a – Participate in an extra-curricular activity
Sports: Requirement 5 – Take part in a season or four months on a team
Merit Badge Ideas from Youtube or Pinterest
Thousands of Boys Scouts are working on the same 135 merit badges. Hundreds of merit badge counselors are coming up with interesting ways to inspire Scouts. Each person brings their own style of problem-solving and creativity. Some upload videos to Youtube or pin ideas to their Pinterest boards. These can be great resources if you are tackling the merit badge or preparing to be a merit badge counselor.
For example, if you type in “Communications Merit Badge” into Youtube, the videos include:
Scouts doing sales pitches (for requirement 2b)
Scouts making speeches (for requirement 3)
Scouts teaching various skills (for requirement 6)
Playlists of videos that cover many topics in the badge, probably prepared by merit badge counselors
Likewise, if you type in “Communications Merit Badge” in Pinterest, the pins include:
A Prezi that gives an overview of the badge (great for a merit badge counselor)
An activity that teaches about the power of body language
Other helpful merit badge resources include Slideshare and Slideserve.
Note that whenever a Scout is doing online research, it’s a good idea for a parent or other trusted adult to be on-hand to review materials.
Where do you research for ideas on how to do a merit badge? Where do you gather ideas to be a better merit badge counselor?
The Underdogs of Merit Badges
Here are the badges that the fewest Scouts earned in 2017, according to Boy Scouts of America :
Bugling – 454 Scouts earned this badge
American Business – 613 Scouts earned this badge
Surveying – 863 Scouts earned this badge
American Labor – 901 Scouts earned this badge
Stamp Collecting – 954 Scouts earned this badge
Drafting – 1,119 Scouts earned this badge
Journalism – 1,127 Scouts earned this badge
Composite Materials – 1,407 Scouts earned this badge
Gardening – 1,450 Scouts earned this badge
Landscape Architecture – 1,483 Scouts earned this badge
As a comparison – the most popular merit badge in 2017 was First Aid, with 69,563 Scouts earning the badge.
If you are the type of person who like to cheer for the underdog, maybe you will be inspired to earn one of these badges!
Scholarship Merit Badge
The Scouts just finished the first semester of the school year and grades will be out soon. This is a great moment to get acquainted with the Scholarship merit badge. To earn this merit badge, a Scout must maintain a B average or higher for a semester. If a Scout has not maintained a B average, he can still earn the merit badge by showing improvement from one semester to the next. Consider the Scholarship merit badge if you have maintained or improved your grades.
Another requirement for the badge involves getting a letter from your principal that states that during the past year your behavior, leadership, and service have been satisfactory. If you are new to your school, you'll need to connect with your principal after your first year at that school.
Donate Your Merit Badge Books to the Troop Library
Did you know our troop has a library of merit badge books? This is a great resource to every Scout as you evaluate which merit badges to do. These books help you figure out where to start every single merit badge requirement. Our troop owns about half of the 135 merit badge books.
To borrow a book, email the Troop Librarian and they will bring you a copy at the next meeting.
If the troop does not own a book for a badge that you'd like to research, your request will help prioritize which books to purchase for the troop.
If you purchased a merit badge book and are finished with it, the troop really appreciates donations of merit badge books to the troop library. Let’s give a new life to your books!
Here are some books on our troop library wish list, but any merit badge books are great:
• American Business • American Cultures • American Heritage • Animation • Archeology • Architecture • Backpacking
• Bird Study • Cooking • Cycling • Digital Technology • Entrepreneurship • Game Design • Gardening • Graphic Arts
• Journalism • Mammal Study • Moviemaking • Music • Orienteering • Photography • Programming • Radio
• Reading • Robotics • Textile • Veterinary Medicine • Welding • Wood Carving • Woodwork